First edition, first impression of this attractive book on mountain climbing by the trailblazing female climber Elizabeth Aubrey le Blond (1860-1934).
Le Blond began climbing in the Alps following convalescence from a suspected case of tuberculosis. In Chamonix she made several walks with friends and soon was inspired to climb to the Grands Mulets... In the summer of 1882 she returned and climbed Mont Blanc twice, as well as the Grandes Jorasses. Beginning in 1882–3, she made many ascents in winter with Eduard Cupelin, her guide, which she described in The High Alps in Winter, or, Mountaineering in Search of Health (1883), and High Life and Towers of Silence (1886). In this period her great-aunt Lady Bentinck wrote to her mother: 'Stop her climbing mountains! She is scandalizing all London and looks like a red Indian!' Photographs from this period show her climbing in a skirt that barely reached her knees. Le Blond later wrote in her memoir that 'I owe a supreme debt of gratitude to the mountains for knocking from me the shackles of conventionality' (Le Blond, 90). She founded the Ladies’ Alpine Club and also became an expert photographer, illustrating her books with her own photos. Le Blond was active in a number of winter sports and became the first woman to pass the men’s ice skating test, resulting in separate tests for men and women being abolished. She was also among the first people to make bicycle tours of the alps, and raced early motor cars.
London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1904.
Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt, illustration of a mountain landscape blocked in blue, green and purple to the upper board, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Frontispiece and 31 plates of illustrations from photographs. Ownership inscriptions to the front pastedown and verso of the front free endpaper. Spine rolled, cloth a little rubbed and marked, spotting to edges of text block and occasionally to contents. very good condition.
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